Handouts lead to deaths
Seven women and a child were killed in two separate stampedes on Saturday when destitute people scrambled for free cloth being handed out before a festival marking the end of Ramadan, news reports said. Four women and a child died in a stampede in Mymensingh district, about 110km north of Dhaka, when about 2,000 people, many with children, gathered in a narrow lane to receive cloth distributed by the owner of a textile mill, a TV station reported. About 12 people were injured. A stampede in Patuakhali district, 152km south of Dhaka, where about 1,000 people had gathered killed three women and injured four others.
Abdullah, Mahathir meet
Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi met with his predecessor Mahathir Mohamad for two hours yesterday to discuss Mahathir's allegations of nepotism and corruption. Mahathir has been carrying out a virtual one-man campaign to remove Abdullah, accusing him of mismanaging the country and offering government contracts to his friends and family. Abdullah denies the charges. Mahathir left Abdullah's official residence in a black Mercedes via a private entrance and neither man talked to reporters. No details of the meeting were immediately available.
Aftershocks rock country
The country has been rocked by 591 aftershocks following a 5.2 magnitude earthquake on Friday, but most could not be felt by humans and none was strong enough to cause any damage, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said yesterday. Friday's earthquake was centered between the islands of Mindoro and Marinduque.
Foreign hand in bombing
Foreigners were responsible for a bombing that killed at least seven people and wounded dozens more in Peshawar and will be arrested soon, a top elected official said. No one has claimed responsibility for the powerful bomb on Friday that ripped through a crowded market. "At this stage, I can only say that a foreign hand is behind it," Akram Durrani, the chief minister, told reporters on Saturday. An official said additional police have been deployed at government offices, places of worship and other important sites since Friday's blast.
India dilutes accusations
New Delhi appeared to retreat from its charge that Pakistan's spy agency had planned Mumbai train bombings in July, with its national security adviser saying yesterday that investigators don't have strong evidence. "I would be hesitant to say that we have clinching evidence," M.K. Narayanan said. Narayanan's statement came as India and Pakistan prepared to resume official-level talks next month which New Delhi put on hold after the train bombings that killed more than 200 people.
Children face court orders
Hundreds of parents are taking out court orders against children as young as 10 years old to protect their own children from bullying. "Violence by young people in and out of school is a major problem," said Don Weather-burn, the director of the New South Wales Bureau of Crime Statistics. In New South Wales, more than 700 Apprehended Violence Orders (AVOs) have been taken out against children aged be-tween 10 and 14 in the past three years. A court can issue an AVO if it believes a person has reasonable grounds to fear violence or harassment.